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Dandridge, Tennessee

January 7, 2013

www.jeffersoncountypost.com


Face Identification Software For Drivers License

Staff Photo
 

Local residents are often serenaded by the rat-a-tat-tat of the woodpecker, as he makes his presence known, and a little cold weather does not deter him in his quest for the perfect mid morning snack. Woodpeckers are not just a beautiful and natural part of the local landscape, they are also precision drilling machines. Their bodies are uniquely designed to scale trees, with two toes pointing forward and two toes pointing toward the rear. Razor sharp, pointed claws allow the bird to scale trees and other structures vertically. Stiff tail feathers act as a third leg, for balance and their skulls are reinforced to handle the impact of drilling and pecking. Woodpeckers drill holes in trees to provide a space to roost, as well as shelter during the Winter months, and they eat insects that they pull out of the tree trunks. Not only are they interesting and beautiful, but they are also good neighbors. Other birds and even squirrels use abandon woodpecker holes as nests to hide their young.

 

Photo Drivers License Renewals May Be Delayed
Homeland Security at helm of new drivers licensing process

 

Impacting changes are on tap for the manner in which Tennessee residents receive their State Drivers License or Photo identification. Currently, drivers that are renewing their license have no time lapse in receiving their updated license. Under the new procedures, it could take several days or longer for Tennessee residents to receive their permanent driver’s license. Drivers seeking to renew their license will surrender their current identification to the State and receive a receipt that will include their information and a computer generated photo. The State will use face identification software to determine if the new photo matches those on file for the individual and then send out the new photo license. In an effort to prevent identification fraud, the State Department of Homeland Security is at the helm of the new drivers licensing process. Jefferson County Court Clerk Rick Farrar stated Friday that the County has not yet received the equipment change necessary for the new process, though it is slotted to arrive shortly. Farrar said that it is possible for a renewing driver to request that a hole is punched in the old license and that it be returned to provide a clearer form of picture identification until the new license arrives. In certain instances, such as air travel, clear photo identification is necessary. Though the paper drivers license is State issued documentation, it is unclear if there will be difficulties for those needing definitive photo identification during the waiting period. The waiting period will also extent to photo identification for voting purposes. Voting identification is no longer available through the Jefferson County Clerk’s Office, though residents can still obtain one at the Strawberry Plains Drivers License Office at no cost. Until the new equipment arrives, the Jefferson County Clerks Office is operating under old procedures. The State of Tennessee plans for all renewal centers to have the updated equipment by mid February. Residents can still renew Class D driver’s licenses online through the State of Tennessee. The online renewal process can take up to 20 days to receive the new license, however a print out receipt will stand good during the waiting period and the old license does not currently have to be surrendered, so timing is critical for those residents that must be in possession of clear photo identification.

 

Hope Scholarships, Timing Critical:
Hitting some Tennessee students in the pocket book this semester

 

Some Tennessee college students that are the recipients of the Hope scholarship may find themselves in a financial bind. Students that were awarded the Hope Scholarship in the Fall of 2009 or after have an expiration date on the funds. Prior to 2009, the Hope Scholarship was available to Tennessee students who met the criteria for five (5) years from initial enrollment in a postsecondary institution or until the student graduated, whichever came first. Those students who received the Hope Scholarship in or after the Fall of 2009 have the additional caveat of completing their degree in 120 attempted semester hours, though some exceptions are given for students who are in programs that require more than 120 hours to graduate. In certain instances, the hour allotment is extended to up to 136 attempted hours in a program that requires those additional hours for graduation.

The criterion is hitting some Tennessee students in the pocket book this semester and even more are likely to feel the bite next Fall. Beyond the requirement to receive the Hope Scholarship, student recipients must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.75 after 24 and 48 attempted semester hours and a 3.0 cumulative grade point average after 72 and 96 attempted semester hours. If the student is in a program that requires more than 120 hours to graduation, but less than 136 hours to graduation, then the student must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 after 120 attempted semester hours. Those students that fall below the 3.0 minimum grade point average after 72 and 96 attempted semester hours but have a 3.0 semester grade point average at the end of those semesters will be allowed to retain their scholarship on a semester to semester basis. Students that fall short of the grade point average minimum and lose Hope scholarship eligibility can regain the award if they meet the grade point average minimum, however they can only lose and regain the award one time in their academic career.

The question of semester hours is now becoming relevant because students that received their award in Fall of 2009 should be close to the 120 attempted semester hour mark. Locally, Carson-Newman College students are a part of the group that have semester hour extension beyond the 120 attempted semester hours, as it requires 128 hours for graduation, however the impact is same. A small number of students will lose their Hope Scholarship this semester, however, the impact will be much larger next semester. Tennessee Colleges and Universities are stressing the importance of maintaining a graduation plan and staying on track so that students do not exceed the bounds of the Hope Scholarship and find themselves looking for other funds. The Hope Scholarship is funded through lottery dollars and around 70,000 Tennessee students received the Hope Scholarship in the 2011-2012 academic year.

TNStars College Savings ‘Double Your Money’ Offer Extended
David H. Lillard, Jr., State Treasurer

 

The Tennessee Treasury Department is extending a promotion that allows Tennessee residents who sign up for the state’s TNStars College Savings 529 Program to receive a $50 match for the first $50 they invest in the program. The matching funds promotion will be available through June 30, 2013.

TNStars is a cost effective, easy way for Tennesseans to start saving for their children’s or grandchildren’s college education. The Tennessee Treasury Department estimates that college tuition and fees are rising by at least 7 percent per year. So saving is not an option - it’s a must.

TNStars is a college savings plan created by Tennesseans, administered by Tennesseans, for Tennesseans that allows participants to choose from 15 investment options, ranging from conservative to aggressive. The plan offers low investment fees and money earned on those investments may be withdrawn tax-free, provided it is used to pay for qualified educational expenses for the account’s beneficiary. In fact, the funds can be used at thousands of public or private universities, community colleges, technology centers, vocational schools and any post-secondary institution that is eligible to receive U.S. Department of Education student loan funds.

An account can be established for as little as $25, but Tennessee residents who invest $50 or more will each receive $50 in matching funds from the state deposited into their accounts. In addition to the $50 match, Tennessee residents who roll over their entire account balances to TNStars from other states’ 529 college savings programs or Tennessee’s prepaid tuition program will each receive $100 in incentive funds deposited into their TNStars accounts.

More than a thousand Tennesseans have opened accounts - so don’t be left out! The $50 match and the $100 rollover incentive are some of the keys to help your child or grandchild get the education and training needed for the 21st Century Tennessee specialized workforce.

“This is an easy way people can double their money while investing,” Treasurer David H. Lillard, Jr. said. “I hope this will give Tennesseans the encouragement they need to start accounts with TNStars on behalf of their children, grandchildren, other relatives or family friends. If account holders will commit to saving even small amounts of money on a regular basis, that will add up over time. And providing the money needed to attend college can help our children build better futures - both for themselves and for our state.”

Anyone interested in learning more about TNStars may visit www.TNStars.com or call toll-free to (855) 386-7827.

Consider all investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses before investing in the Tennessee Stars College Savings 529 program. Please visit www.TNStars.com or call us toll-free at 855-386-7827 for a Disclosure Booklet containing this and other information. Read it carefully. Non-Tennessee taxpayers and residents: If you are not a Tennessee taxpayer, you should determine whether your home state offers a 529 plan that provides state tax or other benefits not available to you by investing in this program. You should consider such state tax or other benefits, if any, before investing in this program.

 

U.S. Troops Man Patriot Missiles
Near Turkey-Syria Border
By: Jake Depew, Jefferson County Post Staff Writer

 

United States troops arrived in Turkey on Friday, January 4, 2013, in order to man Patriot missile defense systems near the Turkey-Syria border. According to various Turkish news media, the troops number 27, and are to be under the command of NATO, though the Patriot batteries still fall under the direct control of the U.S. The reinforcement comes as violence escalates throughout Syria, with a car bomb killing 10 people at a gas station in Damascus, as well as a rebel-led assault on Taftanaz Air Base. The air base is a major helicopter airport in northern Syria, and its capture would severely detract from the government’s control of the region. Both opposition and government news sources have reported that Nusra Front, a group identified by the U.S. as a terrorist organization, also participated in the assault. Unconfirmed opposition reports indicate that the assault was successful, though no evidence has been uncovered either way. The surge in violence left as many as 129 people dead on Friday, with an estimated death toll of 60,000 for the entire conflict. The call for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to be tried in court for war crimes received considerable support this past Sunday, as Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy spoke out in condemnation of the Syrian president’s actions.

 


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January 7, 2013 Go To Page

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